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Mexico Jamil Olmedo

Jamil Olmedo

Crafting Futures Mexico will bring together an emerging British and Mexican designer with local design graduates to work with a select group of Oaxacan artisans. These teams will be based at Oax-i-fornia's Ex-Hacienda Guadalupe in the heart of Oaxaca.

As a creative exchange, the programme proposes a unique strategy. Rather than set up a designer/producer relationship (in which the designers design, and the artisans make the finished pieces), the project cultivates a shared space of interaction, exploration and creative making, in which goals are established collaboratively and skills are exchanged. The intention is not to replace the traditional visual language of local craft, but to develop and enrich it.

Crafting Futures Mexico begins with what already exists, using the body of work of a particular artisan as a starting point for creative dialogue and collaboration with a designer. By re-thinking traditional forms, materials and techniques through experiment and play, the teams will create a new body of work that can be developed and sold by the artisans, with designers credited for their collaboration.

Location
Mexico

Crafting Futures Mexico

Ex-Hacienda Guadalupe, Oax-i-fornia © Oax-i-fornia

© Oax-i-fornia

Ex-Hacienda Guadalupe, Oax-i-fornia
Oaxaca red clay pottery © Oax-i-fornia

© Oax-i-fornia

Oaxaca red clay pottery
Oaxaca 'carrizo' basketry © Oax-i-fornia

© Oax-i-fornia

Oaxaca 'carrizo' basketry
Mitla archaeological site © Oax-i-fornia

© Oax-i-fornia

Mitla archaeological site
Oaxaca © Oax-i-fornia

© Oax-i-fornia

Oaxaca
Oaxaca © Oax-i-fornia

© Oax-i-fornia

Oaxaca

31 July 2017
by João Guarantani

In August 2017, the British Council launches Crafting Futures Mexico; a three-week experimental collaboration in Oaxaca, stimulating a creative dialogue between artisans and designers from the UK and Mexico. The programme has been developed in collaboration with Oax-i-fornia and leading Mexican design curator Ana Elena Mallet. 

With a history of thousands of years of traditional craft and artistic production, Oaxaca’s cultural wealth is almost unparalleled around the globe. The variety and quality of its crafts, including weaving, ceramics, wood carving, and a vast array of others, are internationally famous. Remarkably, all layers of its artistic history—ancient, colonial, and modern—remain alive and in dialogue. Alongside traditional crafts, the city of Oaxaca is home to a sophisticated contemporary arts and design community. Oaxaca is also the most culturally diverse state of Mexico, home to 16 indigenous groups, all of whom maintain their distinct languages, dress, gastronomy, and traditional ways of producing craft, by some of the best artisans in Mexico today.

Crafting Futures Mexico will bring together an emerging British and Mexican designer with local design graduates to work with a select group of Oaxacan artisans. These teams will be based at Oax-i-fornia's Ex-Hacienda Guadalupe in the heart of Oaxaca.

The main objectives of the programme include:

  • the development of a rich cross-cultural collaboration in which both sides, designer and artisan, participate as equals
  • providing a space for design exploration and creative freedom while pushing the boundaries of the materials and craft techniques at hand
  • tangible positive social and economic impact through the creation of new design products benefiting the artisans involved

As a creative exchange, the programme proposes a unique strategy. Rather than set up a designer/producer relationship (in which the designers design, and the artisans make the finished pieces), the project cultivates a shared space of interaction, exploration and creative making, in which goals are established collaboratively and skills are exchanged. The intention is not to replace the traditional visual language of local craft, but to develop and enrich it.

Crafting Futures Mexico begins with what already exists, using the body of work of a particular artisan as a starting point for creative dialogue and collaboration with a designer. By re-thinking traditional forms, materials and techniques through experiment and play, the teams will create a new body of work that can be developed and sold by the artisans, with designers credited for their collaboration.

Participating designers and graduates will be selected by panels of sector partners in the UK and Mexico:

UK

Mexico

Artisans working across a variety of disciplines and local materials, including textiles, red clay ceramics and basketry, will be nominated by Oax-i-fornia. The immersion trip will take place later in the summer; so keep an eye on our blog for further news.

18 October 2017

Crafting Futures Mexico opens at Museo Franz Mayer

Crafting Futures Mexico opens at Museo Franz Mayer © British Council / photo by Jamil Olmedo

© British Council / photo by Jamil Olmedo

21 August 2017

Meet Juan Pablo Viedma: Crafting Futures Mexico

Meet Juan Pablo Viedma: Crafting Futures Mexico © PACA

© PACA

17 August 2017

Meet Billy Lloyd: Crafting Futures Mexico

Meet Billy Lloyd: Crafting Futures Mexico  © Billy Lloyd

© Billy Lloyd

14 November 2018

Crafting Futures Mexico: Applied Arts Scotland

Crafting Futures Mexico: Applied Arts Scotland © Carol Sinclair

© Carol Sinclair

9 November 2018

Research: Women's Empowerment Through Craft in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan

Research: Women's Empowerment Through Craft in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan

9 August 2018

Opportunity: Crafting Futures Grant Scheme

Opportunity: Crafting Futures Grant Scheme Image by Simon Mills

Image by Simon Mills

9 August 2018

Research: Artisans in a Digital World

Research: Artisans in a Digital World Photograph by Simon Mills

Photograph by Simon Mills

20 July 2018

Fashioning Tradition: The Tai Lue Project

Fashioning Tradition: The Tai Lue Project The women at Ban Don Chai wearing garments made from their own woven fabric. Image courtesy Alison Welch

The women at Ban Don Chai wearing garments made from their own woven fabric. Image courtesy Alison Welch

8 February 2018

Textiles and Teaching Methods: Plymouth College of Art in Myanmar

Textiles and Teaching Methods: Plymouth College of Art in Myanmar Co-design carpet. Photograph by Paul Singleton

Co-design carpet. Photograph by Paul Singleton

23 January 2018

Amneh Shaikh-Farooqui at Making Futures

Amneh Shaikh-Farooqui at Making Futures Amneh Shaikh-Farooqui

Amneh Shaikh-Farooqui

12 January 2018

Atty Tantivit at Making Futures

Atty Tantivit at Making Futures Work by Atty Tantivit

Work by Atty Tantivit

12 January 2018

Zarif Design at Making Futures

Zarif Design at Making Futures Zolaykha Sherzad of Zarif Design

Zolaykha Sherzad of Zarif Design

11 January 2018

Travelogue: Crafting Futures Thailand

Travelogue: Crafting Futures Thailand Jasper Chadprajong-Smith

Jasper Chadprajong-Smith

14 December 2017

Film: Crafting Futures Asia

Film: Crafting Futures Asia Photograph courtesy British Council Vietnam

Photograph courtesy British Council Vietnam

26 October 2017

Film: Crafting Futures Mexico

Film: Crafting Futures Mexico © British Council / photo by Jamil Olmedo

© British Council / photo by Jamil Olmedo

31 July 2017

Crafting Futures Mexico

Crafting Futures Mexico © Oax-i-fornia

© Oax-i-fornia

9 June 2017

Film: From Loom to Loom

Film: From Loom to Loom © Sandra Sordini

© Sandra Sordini

27 April 2017

On the Line at Real to Reel

On the Line at Real to Reel © Sam Meech 2017

© Sam Meech 2017

4 April 2017

London Craft Week Talk: Material World

London Craft Week Talk: Material World Photo Sandra Sordini

Photo Sandra Sordini

20 March 2017

On the Line at The Aram Gallery

On the Line at The Aram Gallery © Agnese Sanvito

© Agnese Sanvito

1 December 2016

Craft Reveals Conference

Craft Reveals Conference